Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Proposed Text

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Action:
Amendment to Expand Training Options for Applicants
Stage: Proposed
3/28/22  2:21 PM
 
18VAC80-20-30 Basic qualifications for licensure

A. Every applicant for a license shall provide information on his application establishing that:

1. The applicant is at least 18 years of age.

2. The applicant has successfully completed high school or a high school equivalency course.

3. The applicant has training and experience that covers the following subjects as they pertain to hearing aid fitting and the sale of hearing aids, accessories, and services:

a. Basic physics of sound;

b. Basic maintenance and repair of hearing aids;

c. The anatomy and physiology of the ear;

d. Introduction to psychological aspects of hearing loss;

e. The function of hearing aids and amplification;

f. Visible disorders of the ear requiring medical referrals;

g. Practical tests utilized for selection or modification of hearing aids;

h. Pure tone audiometry, including air conduction, bone conduction, and related tests;

i. Live voice or recorded voice speech audiometry, including speech reception threshold testing and speech discrimination testing;

j. Masking when indicated;

k. Recording and evaluating audiograms and speech audiometry to determine the proper selection and adaptation of hearing aids;

l. Taking earmold impressions;

m. Proper earmold selection;

n. Adequate instruction in proper hearing aid orientation;

o. Necessity of proper procedures in after-fitting checkup; and

p. Availability of social service resources and other special resources for the hearing impaired.

4. The applicant has provided one of the following as verification of completion of training and experience as described in subdivision 3 of this subsection:

a. A statement on a form provided by the board signed by the licensed sponsor certifying that the requirements have been met and the applicant has at least nine months of experience under the temporary permit; or

b. A certified true copy of a transcript of courses completed at an accredited college or university, or other notarized documentation of completion of the required experience and training; or

c. An apprenticeship completion form from the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry reflecting completion of a registered apprenticeship, including all required related instruction or an equivalent out-of-state registered apprenticeship.

5. The applicant has not been convicted or found guilty of any crime directly related to the practice of fitting or dealing in hearing aids, regardless of the manner of adjudication, in any jurisdiction of the United States. Except for misdemeanor convictions that occurred five or more years prior to the date of application, with no subsequent convictions, all criminal convictions shall be considered as part of the totality of the circumstances of each applicant. The applicant review of prior convictions shall be subject to the requirements of § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for purposes of this subdivision. The record of a conviction authenticated in such form as to be admissible in evidence under the laws of the jurisdiction where convicted shall be admissible as prima facie evidence of such conviction or guilt.

6. The applicant is in good standing as a licensed hearing aid specialist in every jurisdiction where licensed. The applicant must disclose if he has had a license as a hearing aid specialist that was suspended, revoked, or surrendered in connection with a disciplinary action or that has been the subject of discipline in any jurisdiction prior to applying for licensure in Virginia. At the time of application for licensure, the applicant must also disclose any disciplinary action taken in another jurisdiction in connection with the applicant's practice as a hearing aid specialist. The applicant must also disclose whether he has been previously licensed in Virginia as a hearing aid specialist.

7. The applicant has disclosed his physical address. A post office box is not acceptable.

8. The nonresident applicant for a license has filed and maintained with the department an irrevocable consent for the department to serve as service agent for all actions filed in any court in Virginia.

9. The applicant has submitted the required application with the proper fee as referenced in 18VAC80-20-70 and signed, as part of the application, a statement that the applicant has read and understands Chapter 15 (§ 54.1-1500 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia and this chapter.

B. The board may make further inquiries and investigations with respect to the qualifications of the applicant or require a personal interview or both. The board may refuse initial licensure due to the applicant's failure to comply with entry requirements. The licensee is entitled to a review of such action. Appeals from such actions shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act, Chapter 40 (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia.

18VAC80-20-40 Temporary permit

A. Any individual may apply for a temporary permit, which is to be used solely for the purpose of gaining the training and experience required to become a licensed hearing aid specialist in Virginia. The licensed sponsor shall be identified on the application for a temporary permit and the licensed sponsor shall comply strictly with the provisions of subdivisions B 1 and B 2 of this section.

1. A temporary permit shall be issued for a period of 12 months and may be extended once for not longer than six months 18 months. After a period of 18 months an extension is no longer possible and, the former temporary permit holder shall sit for the examination in accordance with this section.

2. The board may, at its discretion, extend the temporary permit for a temporary permit holder who suffers serious personal illness or injury, or death in his immediate family, or obligation of military service or service in the Peace Corps, or for other good cause of similar magnitude approved by the board. Documentation of these circumstances must be received by the board no later than 12 months after the date of the expiration of the temporary permit or within six months of the completion of military or Peace Corps service, whichever is later.

B. Every applicant for a temporary permit shall provide information upon application establishing that:

1. The applicant for a temporary permit is at least 18 years of age.

2. The applicant for a temporary permit has successfully completed high school or a high school equivalency course.

3. The applicant has not been convicted or found guilty of any crime directly related to the practice of fitting or dealing in hearing aids, regardless of the manner of adjudication, in any jurisdiction of the United States. Except for misdemeanor convictions that occurred five or more years prior to the date of application, with no subsequent convictions, all criminal convictions shall be considered as part of the totality of the circumstances of each applicant. Review of prior convictions shall be subject to the requirements of § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for purposes of this subdivision. The record of a conviction authenticated in such form as to be admissible in evidence under the laws of the jurisdiction where convicted shall be admissible as prima facie evidence of such conviction or guilt.

4. The applicant for a temporary permit is in good standing as a licensed hearing aid specialist in every jurisdiction where licensed. The applicant for a temporary permit must disclose if he has had a license as a hearing aid specialist that was suspended, revoked, or surrendered in connection with a disciplinary action or that has been the subject of discipline in any jurisdiction prior to applying for licensure in Virginia. At the time of application, the applicant for a temporary permit must also disclose any disciplinary action taken in another jurisdiction in connection with the applicant's practice as a hearing aid specialist. The applicant for a temporary permit must also disclose whether he has been licensed previously in Virginia as a hearing aid specialist.

5. The applicant for a temporary permit has disclosed his physical address. A post office box is not acceptable.

6. The applicant for a temporary permit has submitted the required application with the proper fee referenced in 18VAC80-20-70 and has signed, as part of the application, a statement that the applicant has read and understands Chapter 15 (§ 54.1-1500 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia and this chapter.

C. The licensed hearing aid specialist who agrees to sponsor the applicant for a temporary permit shall certify on the application that as sponsor, he:

1. Assumes full responsibility for the competence and proper conduct of the temporary permit holder with regard to all acts performed pursuant to the acquisition of training and experience in the fitting or dealing of hearing aids;

2. Will not assign the temporary permit holder to carry out independent field work without on-site direct supervision by the sponsor until the temporary permit holder is adequately trained for such activity;

3. Will personally provide and make available documentation, upon request by the board or its representative, showing the number of hours that direct supervision has occurred throughout the period of the temporary permit; and

4. Will return the temporary permit to the department should the training program be discontinued for any reason.

5. Will not refer the temporary permit holder for testing until they have completed at least nine months of training under their permit.

D. The licensed sponsor shall provide training and shall ensure that the temporary permit holder under his supervision gains experience that covers the following subjects as they pertain to hearing aid fitting and the sale of hearing aids, accessories, and services:

1. Basic physics of sound;

2. Basic maintenance and repair of hearing aids;

3. The anatomy and physiology of the ear;

4. Introduction to psychological aspects of hearing loss;

5. The function of hearing aids and amplification;

6. Visible disorders of the ear requiring medical referrals;

7. Practical tests utilized for selection or modification of hearing aids;

8. Pure tone audiometry, including air conduction, bone conduction, and related tests;

9. Live voice or recorded voice speech audiometry, including speech reception threshold testing and speech discrimination testing;

10. Masking when indicated;

11. Recording and evaluating audiograms and speech audiometry to determine the proper selection and adaptation of hearing aids;

12. Taking earmold impressions;

13. Proper earmold selection;

14. Adequate instruction in proper hearing aid orientation;

15. Necessity of proper procedures in after-fitting checkup; and

16. Availability of social service resources and other special resources for the hearing impaired.

E. The board may make further inquiries and investigations with respect to the qualifications of the applicant for a temporary permit or require a personal interview, or both.

F. All correspondence from the board to the temporary permit holder not otherwise exempt from disclosure, shall be addressed to both the temporary permit holder and the licensed sponsor and shall be sent to the business address of the licensed sponsor.